At the heart of Lord’s, the most important cricket ground in the world, is the Victorian Members’ Pavilion. To watch games, tradition holds that the Members sit on benches, not individual seats, on the three stepped tiers. Fitted end to end means they can squeeze in on busy days, or spread out when there is room. The whole stadium has been modernized with new stands and ergonomic seating. The time had come for an upgrade to the timber-slatted benches as they were not ergonomic (uncomfortable for a full days cricket) very expensive to maintain.
As Design Director at Bridges Associates I was tasked with finding the replacement.
Easier said than done. We could not find an off-the shelf bench which was slatted, upholstered and fitted the somewhat bespoke dimensions of the Lord’s terraces. Konstantin Grcic’s Bench B came closest so I spoke to Jordi Arnau at BD Barcelona who immediately understood the challenge. With the sort of can-do attitude that has made Barcelona famous, he proposed changes to the dimensions of the cast aluminium frame and the slats, all weather upholstery, and various small details that effectively turned the bench into a bespoke product without losing its essential beauty.
Lord’s is a byword in tradition. The Pavilion houses committees that regulate the international game, as well as holding astonishing collections of artefacts and paintings which illustrate cricket from its beginnings on a field nearby. The benches are a visible part of the tradition, so it is very significant that the new refined design has been accommodated so seamlessly.
Pascal Madoc Jones
Design Director at Bridges Associates